Still undoubtedly one of the greatest characters in my life was Orson Welles. The never-disputed Genius, was a man I would have adored meeting, one of the three souls I went off into my alleged maturity hoping to encounter, and "Save," I remember saying as I sailed into what was to be my life. I announced to everyone I knew when I went to Paris to live after college, that the move was with "the hope of saving Marlon Brando, Judy Garland or Orson Welles." As it turned out I did meet and get a chance to almost get up to some mischief with Marlon; Judy I was sent for by MCA as a young writer to save her with material, but when I got to Vegas she had a nervous breakdown, leaving me to learn to gamble, so anxious about what I was supposed to do at the crap tables I made 40 straight passes, and took my money off every time except for a dollar. I was shooting for an hour--people came from all over the Strip, and I made only $40; Orson Welles I passed going the other way on a bridge over the Seine: he was talking to himself, so I moved on.
But those were the 3 great loves of my late adolescence. I have made up my mind to catch up with Welles now, when it is much too late to do any good, even as a writer. I used to see him eating at Ma Maison, by which time I was no longer that interested. He was often with John Cassavetes, the great director, and even greater human being. But Welles ate without seeming to taste, and as he was already morbidly obese and weight was one of the dark spectres in my life, I avoided even looking at him, much less hoping to say Hello, one of the things Ma Maison was best for, having as it did an unlisted phone number, so anybody who could actually get a reservation there was made truly welcome, and could pretty much sidle up to any celebrity present, which many there were,-- celebrities that is, --simply by definition of being able to get a table.
But now I am interested in Welles again, as there is nothing that absorbs me, the winter has been so dispiriting. So I will make an attempt to become rapt with or in his biography, in the hope my mind is still there, in spite of how low I am, and, I am afraid, how un-smart I have become.
I have had little in the way of inspiration, and almost no connection with anyone or anything that lifts me, with the exception of Rex Reed's taking me to Sweeney Todd to see my once almost great friend Emma Thompson who was at the Bel-Air for a long swatch of time when I was hanging out there. She loved Happy, and I really liked her. Kenneth Branagh, who came to visit her, was a true jerk, clearly not good enough for her-- he said something proprietary about Shakespeare that I think he imagined was witty, which you don't do to a Shakespeare major, which I never was more than in his presence, I was so disappointed that this was Emma's partner, and Will's champion. I feel it's okay to call Shakespeare by his first name, since he was the focus of my intense study, as un-intense as it may have been.
I hope that it is Winter, and this weather, and the gray that are bringing me this low, and isn't really where I am spiritually, my soul dragging lower than my ass. The Angel Carleen says that there is something going on world-wide that is sapping everybody.